10 March 2022
Nuku’alofa – The Tonga Fire and Emergency Services today received two fire trucks and firefighting equipment from the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Services at the Longolongo Fire Station outside Nuku’alofa. Prime Minister, Honourable Hu’akavameiliku, in his capacity as Minister of Police, Fire and Emergency Services received the donation from the Australian High Commissioner to Tonga, Her Excellency Ms. Rachael Moore.
While thanking High Commissioner Moore and the people of Australia for the donation, the Hon Hu’akavameiliku said Tonga Fire and Emergency Services have been in partnership with the Metropolitan Fire Services, South Australia for 15 years. “It is our main provider for fire appliances and any related trainings and a valued donor of surplus equipment and technical uniforms. Indeed, 12 from 15 of our current fire appliances are from the Metropolitan Fire Services, with approximately 90% of our appliance fleet donated from Australia fire departments,” Hon. Hu’akavameiliku said. “We value our partnership with your good country and know that we would not have been able to operate effectively without the generous donations we have received throughout these years. ”
The fire trucks and firefighting equipment came on the Australian naval vessel HMAS Canberra.Hon. Hu’akavameiliku said Tonga Fire and Emergency Services’ mission to protect life and property was a challenge without the provision of proper fire appliances and equipment. Government’s funding alone is insufficient to effectively cater for this demand and donations such as the ones received today are the Service’s greatest resources for firefighting. Tonga will continue to rely on the friendship and partnership it has with Australia as the government strives to build a stronger and a more resilient Tonga.
Meanwhile, Hon. Hu’akavameiliku once conveyed the sympathy of the men and women of the Tonga Fire and Emergency Services to the people of Australia who have suffered from recent flooding in Queensland and New South Wales “and continue to hold them in our thoughts and prayers in this difficult time”.